My first memory of foundation was one of shame and frustration: I picked up a shade of drugstore liquid I thought matched my skin color. When I wore it to school for the first time, I felt like a khaki lizard, peeling at the forehead. It wasn’t right at all, and I felt like everyone knew it. I spent lunchtime trying to fix my face, using my fingers like the blur tool on Photoshop. Needless to say, it didn’t work. I ended up with a new flock of pimples on my forehead, to boot.
Since then, my makeup journey has been going a lot smoother. My skin is mostly under control now, and I’ve found foundations that work for me (and don't evoke comparisons to small reptiles). I’m less concerned with acne now, but this is in part because I’m always combating new outbreaks rather than trying to hide them. I have noticed, however, a flock of supposed “acne-fighting” foundations that aim to both conceal and correct. Too good to be true? Possibly. I spent a month trying each one out, and asked the brands how exactly their magic potions work. Ahead, see what I found out.